Jolan's Path - Chapter 101
The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.
Everyone stared at Jolan in shocked wonder.
"Archangels? These boys are descended from actual angels?" Randall said, his eyes staring in religious wonder at the three identical beings.
Jolan smiled, looking at Justin's father, knowing the depth of his faith in God.
He also saw the same look in several other pairs of eyes staring at the young men, Lance and Lynn included.
"No, Dad. Not from the archangels written of in the Holy Bible. But they are descendants of goodness and love."
The three young men looked up at Jolan, the young man standing in front of their mother's portrait.
His grey eyes held a depth of love they'd only seen once before.
In the joined love of their parents.
"Angels--or their likenesses--have dated back throughout time; various images coming to life in religious paintings, written testaments and verbal epics of traditional wonder. As like the Badenwolves and the Dragosans, their truth manifested itself into beings of greater wonder."
Calen and Simus stared at Jolan, sensing the young man had found some new truth within the pages of the Tome.
"You talk as a man filled with knowledge, my nephew. Has the Tome revealed the truth of that ancient race?"
Jolan stared at both men for a moment, then his eyes fell upon the three young men seated together.
"You only have to look at their beautiful faces to take in the truth of their heritage. It was a dynasty of breathtakingly beautiful love."
The three young men smiled, staring back at Jolan.
Jolan's eyes went to Calen and Simus.
"Why do your five souls hold a sense of sadness? I have felt it since our first meeting."
All five looked at each other, their eyes lowering for a moment.
"We are saddened for having lost our ancestry through anarchy, my cousin." Athos said, Jolan staring at him.
"We Dragosans are ashamed for having played a part in their destruction." Calen said, Simus' hand again on his shoulder.
Jolan's eyes went to the painting of his grandfather, Justin having sat it down against the wall beside the fireplace.
"Grandfather played no part in their destruction, Uncle Calen. He, in truth, was their savior."
Calen's eyes widened in shock, Jolan's eyes meeting his.
"Did your wife, my loving aunt, love you Uncle Calen?"
Calen's eyes glistened with tears, Simus rubbing his shoulder, his three sons looking into his face with deep love.
"With all her heart, Jolan. We were soulmates."
Jolan smiled, looking again at his aunt's beautiful likeness.
"To love an Archanian would be to love a child of God."
Randall's eyes were glued to Jolan, his words seemingly deep in faith.
Lisa sat beside him, watching the faith shining from her husband's face.
"It is time the truth of their existence--and the truth of their past--was known." Jolan said, a long sigh coming out of him, walking up to the fireplace, his hand resting upon the mantle, looking up at his aunt's portrait.
"Loving goodness cannot be destroyed, Uncles. You cannot destroy God's vessels of worth."
Jolan's head turned, looking at everyone.
"The Archanians were not destroyed, Uncles. They flourish still in life."
Calen and Simus both stood, staring at Jolan in shock.
"It cannot be, Jolan! My Lenora was the last of her
generation! She told me that herself with heartache! Our sons are all that is
left of that ancient clan!"
Jolan stared at Calen, hearing the emotion in his voice, and what ached in his heart.
"I am sorry, Uncle. Your dear, sweet Lenora withheld the truth from you."
Calen's face changed into a look of clouded anger, Simus looking at him with worry.
"I cannot stand here and listen to you defile her
memory and her goodness!"
Calen turned, meaning to head towards the doorway, another voice stopping him in his tracks.
"It is true, Father."
Calen's eyes met Athos', the young man having spoken.
The young man stood up, his brothers rising to his side.
"Jolan speaks the truth, Father. We are not the
only ones of our kind."
Calen's face changed to shock, staring at his sons.
"It cannot be, Athos! I searched with your
mother, the two of us seeking out any sign of others. We found nothing."
"You found what needed to be found, Uncle Calen. What she let you find. Nothing and no one."
Calen's eyes went to Jolan's grey, the young man having spoken.
Jolan turned, his finger pointing at Shelly.
The woman looked surprised, Jolan staring at her.
"Look at our loving Shelly, Uncle Calen. You did not know
that a child of the lineage of the Oracle walked this world. She remained hidden
from all sight out of necessity. The necessity to protect that Oracle's
Shelly smiled at Jolan, Jolan smiling back.
"Your wife was of the same predicament, Uncle. She hid her heritage from even you. Such was the necessity of her angelic deception."
Calen looked at the woman staring down from the portrait, his head lowering.
"Have I been made to look the fool? Are my own sons
denying me the truth?"
The three young men moved, their arms going around their father.
"No, Father! You are not a fool! And we never would intentionally deny you anything!" Isaiah said, tears showing in his eyes.
Calen's eyes looked into the three shimmering sets of loving eyes surrounding him.
"Why didn't you tell me, my sons? My three sons?"
Athos sighed, his violet eyes looking towards Jolan.
"A mother's love, a mother's request, prevented them
from revealing what they sense in their hearts, Uncle Calen."
Calen's eyes looked at Athos, the young man kissing his cheek.
"We promised Mother, Father. We swore on our love for her and for our ancestors."
Calen pulled his three sons into his arms, the older man crying.
"I understand, my sons. I would forever promise her anything as well."
Jolan lowered his head, Justin looking at him, having seen wetness in his eyes.
Calen broke from his three sons' embrace, kissing each of their cheeks.
"Her love was ours, my boys. We loved her always.
And still do."
The three young men smiled, Calen walking up to Jolan.
"What is going on here, Jolan? Please tell me what
Jolan raised his head, his tearful eyes staring into Calen's.
"I have found the truth of beauty and life, Uncle.
And I have found hope."
"Yes, Uncle Calen. Hope for a better tomorrow."
Jolan's uncle stared at him, Jolan leaning forward and kissing his cheek.
"Sit down, Uncle. I shall tell you the truth of the Archanians, and their part in our destiny."
Calen nodded, walking back to his sons, the four sitting down together now on one couch.
"Continue, Nephew. Guide us to truth."
Jolan nodded, everyone staring at him.
"To understand the day's revelations is to understand the past. Let us start with the Archanians, and what their lives meant to the Badenwolves and the Sumsarian dynasties."
Everyone remained seated and silent, sensing Jolan was about to illuminate their minds.
"The Archanians are one of the oldest races of
magical creatures surviving on this earth. Yes, I said magic survives. Real
magic thrives in hidden places throughout our world. Most hidden from necessity,
and from forgotten need. The Badenwolves are a real sign of that. You're now
staring at one."
Everyone nodded, looking into Jolan's beautiful face.
"Could I have a chair, my love? My legs begin to tire." Jolan said, Justin moving and pulling an armchair up to the fireplace, Jolan smiling at him and sitting down in it.
"Thank you, my love." Jolan said, Justin smiling with care, returning to his seat beside Hayden and Josh.
"As I said, I am a true sign of that real magic. You have all seen moments of that revealing magic. Magic flows through all the corners of this world. You just need to know where to seek it out.
The Archanians were a race of highly intelligent, giving and loving souls. You only have to look up at the portrait above me and at these three young men before me, to see they were a people of extraordinary beauty, grace and loving demeanor. They coexisted with other races, including man, in a world lost long ago.
One of their unique traits was that they had the gift of flight.
They had wings.
They were able to soar to the heavens and travel great distances in fast motion.
Their wings could fold into their bodies and remain hidden, they were then able to walk among the human race undetected.
And that they did for eons, watching man steadily encroach upon their surrounding lands.
The land of the Archanians was hidden deep within the Carpathian mountains.
It was King Dragos' own father, Prince Athos, who found them when he was a boy of only seventeen.
He had become lost on a hunting expedition with his own father, the boy found by the Archanians half dead of exposure on the edge of their land.
They healed the young man, giving him their kindness and their love.
Prince Athos never forgot the time he shared in their company.
Years later, when he was crowned King Athos, at the age of twenty-seven, he sought out those kind, loving creatures, needing their help in his kingdom's survival.
For it was the dark years of King Athos' fledgling kingdom.
He was at war with several neighboring kingdoms, his own kingdom teetering on collapse.
He sought an audience with Queen Ravenia, the Queen of the people of Archania.
He swayed his once savior with tales of evil invading their lands, the Queen finally agreeing to aid him.
King Athos' army, along with an army of Archanian warriors brought peace to the lands.
The fought together to achieve peace throughout the area.
How could any nation stand against a force that included flying warriors?
Peace was restored and the lands of King Athos and Archania once again were safe.
King Athos and Ravenia became stalwart allies, he leaving the Archanians to live in peaceful solitude.
They would have almost faded into memory if not for the Badenwolves."
Calen stared at Jolan, the young man staring back at him.
"Our Badenwolf ancestors were a strong, proud people, Uncle. They lived off the forests, sustaining life through hardship and courage. They lived in peace, deep within those same Carpathian mountains, unknown to the surrounding humans.
But as with all hidden peoples, eventually they reveal themselves, whether through their need, or their being discovered.
For at that time it was discovery that nearly destroyed them.
King Athos' kingdom thrived, his lands spreading outwards.
And with that spreading prosperity, his people began to come in contact with the Badenwolves.
King Athos in his naivety did nothing to stop their encroachment on the territory of the Badenwolves.
The Badenwolves were the first to react.
Farms were invaded, beasts of burden carried off, a feast found easily within their grasp.
Violence began to erupt along the borders of the Badenwolf territory.
King Athos refused to believe such a race of beasts existed, until his councilors reluctantly showed him proof.
A Badenwolf was captured, forced to reveal its inner self to him, the shock of it sinking into King Athos' soul.
The king himself slaughtered the beast before him, its blood on his hands.
He now feared that a race of monstrous creatures lay at his border.
He concluded that there was only one way to gain victory over those creatures.
He turned to another magical creature for help.
It was to the Archanians he went."
"He received the Pact of Archania?" Simus said, looking at his nephew.
Jolan nodded, looking around.
"The Archanians, as I have said, were a nation of giving, loving, peaceful souls. They coexisted with all races surrounding them. The Badenwolves were their allies as well, long before their human neighbors. King Athos went to Queen Ravenia to seek her aid in stopping the Badenwolves' defense of their lands.
The Queen reluctantly agree to assemble a gathering of nations, a council of voice summoned to rectify the animosity encroaching around all nations.
To that gathering--chaired by Queen Ravenia--came Dahlia Lantos, Queen of the Badenwolves, Lava Mora's mother, my great-grandmother.
Heads of all the surrounding nations and peoples joined together to hear the truth of the conflict threatening to ignite around them.
The Badenwolf and King Athos laid their conflicted concerns before them.
The council leaders discussed everything, a consensus decided.
To the majority of the nations--mostly human--the Badenwolves had been the aggressors, attacking the farms first.
The vote favored King Athos, the Badenwolves defeated.
Dahlia Lantos was crushed by the loss, her feelings of betrayal etched on her face, Queen Ravenia seeing such betrayal herself.
She saw before her a keg of dynamite threatening to explode.
As the head of the council she sought within herself a way to destroy the anger surrounding her.
She laid before the gathering and the two warring factions her ideals of justice.
'Dearest allies, friends and loving brothers. The council has spoken as one voice, the voice of truth and reasoning. Wrongs have been shown, and justice must now be meted out for those wronged.'
Dahlia Lantos stood alone, staring at her old friend.
King Athos stood alone as well, his grey eyes staring at Queen Ravenia, his old friend as well.
'The Badenwolves have been the aggressors, the nation of King Athos attacked. I see before me two nations that will never agree to coexist. War shall come if something is now not done.'
Dahlia Lantos remained silent, her face a mask of truth.
'We shall not bow to a nation of cowards.' she said, Ravenia looking at her.
'You are in the wrong, Dahlia Lantos. And you--speaking for your people--at the onset of this gathering of truth, agreed to the council's verdict. Did you not?'
The she-wolf stared at Ravenia, seeing the futility of her situation.
'Yes, I agreed. I am a beast Queen of honor.'
Ravenia nodded, looking at King Athos.
'What is your view on the punishment we should mete out, King
The man stared in surprise at Ravenia, her violet eyes staring at him.
He saw much love, truth and wisdom in her staring eyes.
And he also saw the magnitude of her judging beauty, her large wings spread outward.
He saw within her eyes that he was being judged as well as Dahlia Lantos.
'My people do not seek to punish our wolfen neighbors. All we ask for is what we feel we deserve. We only wish these creatures to be gone from our surrounding borders. My people need to achieve prosperity in the lands surrounding them.' Athos said, staring at Dahlia Lantos.
Ravenia looked between the two adversaries, a vision coming to her mind.
A vision of what that prosperity would mean for both peoples.
'Very well. I am the leader of this council of justice, and I
shall now mete out the justice you both came here to seek.'
She walked across the gathering, pulling off a branch from a large oak tree that stood in the center of the gathering.
'I wound this tree, taking its limb to satisfy that justice.' she said, walking back between King Athos and Dahlia Lantos.
'This here now shall be your judgment of truth.'
Both stared at her.
'Like this severed branch, the Badenwolf have broken their hidden silence. The kingdom of King Athos has sought to now profit from that breakage. To extend its roots of conquest farther. In my eyes, both of you deserve judgment.'
Both looked at the woman with a flushed anger on their faces.
'There is only one answer to this dilemma. And that answer is
Both looked confused, the Queen staring around at everyone.
'I am Queen Ravenia, the patron of the clan of
Archania. All of your nations have sought me out for truth and justice
throughout the years. You know of my unwavering truthful justice. I see life as
it is. Will you now abide by that justice I now give?'
Everyone surrounding her voiced their agreement by shouting her name.
Dahlia Lantos and King Athos both sensed they were now trapped within that justice.
'Alright, my old friend. I shall abide by your compromise.' Dahlia said, her voice edged with defeat.
'As will I, friend of my youth.' King Athos said, his own voice echoing the same.
'Very well. I shall take your words of honor.'
Both remained still, Ravenia's eyes scanning the multitude of nation leaders.
'Then this is my proclamation. The Badenwolf
must back away from their human neighbors, returning to the depths of their dens deep within their
sacred Badenterra. No longer can they threaten the borders of peaceful lands, no
matter now threatened they feel. They shall not venture forth into the lands of
others save for one moment. When they are summoned by the Sumsarian brethren.
For when they are summoned they shall stand at that people's side and fight with
them as one.'
Dahlia's eyes widened, staring at King Athos, a smile upon his face.
'That is your punishment, Dahlia Lantos. You must become the strength for man when he becomes threatened. As my brethren once stood at Athos' side, you now must. You took from them and now you must give aid to them. That is the pact that you must honor.'
Dahlia Lantos' eyes were glowing yellow, their irises staring at the woman, Ravenia's eyes staring back with even greater worth.
Her violet eyes turned to King Athos, the man staring at her with happiness.
It was short-lived.
'The time of the Archanian bond to you is finished, King
Athos. You have shown your worth, and it does not validate our kinship.'
The king stared in shock at his old friend, seeing the truth within her eyes.
To subjugate one nation of magic he had lost another.
Aid given was now being taken away.
The Queen looked around the assembled nations, their eyes taking in her judging greatness.
'Dahlia Lantos, Queen of the Badenwolf nation, the pact is
given. And to eradicate the dishonor that you feel has been laid at your feet, I
give you now the compromise I spoke of for your having to cower to this man's
Dahlia Lantos' yellow eyes stared at the Queen, Ravenia's eyes staring at both her and King Athos, the two standing alone before her, the other surrounding nations awaiting the Queen's justice.
'King Athos, leader of the nation of your people, the Pact of Archania I now lay before you. The Badenwolves shall honor that pact with ironclad loyalty. And the price for their honor is your own family's blood.'
The king stared at the woman in shock, Queen Ravenia's body standing tall and erect, her winged apparition a sign of strength, justice and greatness.
'For each time that your Sumsarian brethren summon
the pack of Badenwolves, a royal son or daughter of your lineage shall be their
reward. Their bloodthirst shall be sated by one of your own house.'
Dahlia Lantos smiled, the first sign of rewarded justice showing in her staring yellow eyes.
The king stared in shock, his hands balling into fists.
'I shall not give my own blood to honor a pack of beasts! You dishonor me, Ravenia!'
The Queen stared at him, the man seeing a judging gaze in those violet eyes.
'To take a royal life, one must be given back.'
Dahlia Lantos' eyes stared at the king, the king looking towards her.
Ravenia saw the knowledge in her yellow eyes, knowing the hurt burned within her soul.
'Word of your wanton disregard for life has reached my ears, Athos. I know you yourself killed an unarmed Badenwolf.'
The king stared at Queen Ravenia, the woman's eyes showing no compassion.
'Life in any form is a valid life, Athos. That Badenwolf warrior was Dahlia Lantos' youngest son. It was a royal wolf you murdered.'
The king stared at the Badenwolf Queen, her yellow eyes staring back.
'I. . .I did not know!'
'You did not believe what your eyes refused to see, King Athos. You murdered an unarmed man because you were afraid of his magic. The magic of the Badenwolf. This conflict is the result of that, your ignorance at not letting other creatures live around you. The cost for that ignorance shall be the loss of the Archanian alliance, and the future loss of perhaps your own children.'
The king's head lowered, Ravenia looking around at everyone.
'The pact is given. Subjugation shall be given for royal sacrifice. What say you Dahlia Lantos and King Athos?' the Queen said, the oak branch still laying in her hand.
King Athos raised his head, looking around at all the judging eyes staring at him.
His gaze ended on two yellow eyes of crushing loss and anger.
'I agree to the pact. . .I sacrifice for my own cowardice.' he softly said, lowering his head.
Dahlia Lantos' physical being changed, its Badenwolf soul bursting forth, everyone staring in silent wonder.
Her wolfen self stared at the king, then at Ravenia.
'I agree to the pact. . .I will honor your need for our subjugation when called." she said, her voice deep and growling.
Her head raised, a loud howl erupting in fierce need, sending a chill into the bones of all the men surrounding her.
'So the pact stands, unbroken by any right. It shall stand forever.' Queen Ravenia said, walking between the two.
She broke the oak branch in two, handing each of the two one half.
'Walk forward into agreement, join into honor.'
The two stared at each other, both walking forward, the two halves of the branch connecting.
Within an instant the branch was again whole, the two halves magically one again.
'Magic joins agreement to honor. This branch, as like the
pact, is one and unbreakable.'
The Queen turned, throwing the branch towards the tree, the branch joining again with the tree.
Everyone stared in wonder, standing in the heart of their own land.
'We, the Archanian nation, have for generations given our honor, our justice, and our love to all peoples, human and other. The time of our involvement with all of you now ends. We now seek only peace and solitude in the waters of our own souls. You all now must abide by your own paths."
Everyone stared at the Queen, her body taking flight, her winged image disappearing within the clouds."
Everyone sat in silence, Jolan's tale sinking into their souls.
"So, King Athos, in his disregard for other creatures, doomed his own family to a pact of death?" Chris said, Jolan nodding at him.
"Yes, Chris. He killed Dahlia Lantos' son with no
regard for his life, out of fear of the unknown. He showed to Queen Ravenia his true worth. And Ravenia gave
him his own justice."
Jolan's grandfather's face was covered in tears, Jolan looking towards him.
"Do not feel shame for our ancestor's actions, Grandfather. He was his own self. He created his own deeds."
Domo nodded, wiping his eyes.
"So that was the Pact of Archania? Aid for death?" Simus said, looking at his nephew.
"Help for redemption, Uncle. And forty years later King Athos' own wife Queen Alveena would offer her life as that first victim. Only it would be his grandson King Segas who would first feel that bloodthirst, consumed by the Badenwolf queen, my grandmother. And justly so."
Everyone nodded, Calen's eyes going to Jolan.
"Will the pact ever be needed again? The lineage of King Athos is still intact. You and I are both descendants of him, through Dragos' blood and magic."
Jolan's grey eyes stared at his uncles, then around at everyone else.
"You and I are also Badenwolf, Uncle. To call that pact into need would open perhaps many words of argument. Could a Badenwolf thirst upon another of his own kind?"
Jolan stood up, standing again in front of the fireplace, warming his hands, looking up at Calen's wife above him.
"You said that Vilos was the Archanian's savior, Jolan. What happened after that pact?" Bill said, his eyes staring at him.
Jolan sighed, turning around again, sitting back down.
"As I stated, Queen Ravenia created the pact. The
pact of justice and compromise. Athos and Dahlia Lantos accepted it for
themselves and for their children. In times of loss, grief and sorrow, people
can be coerced into doing some unjust things."
Jolan's head lowered for a moment, everyone waiting in silence.
Jolan's head raised, everyone seeing tears within his eyes.
"My forefathers did an unjust thing. They sought revenge when they should have been seeking redemption."
Everyone stared at Jolan, the young man continuing his story.
"Forty years later, after the battle of joined forces between the Badenwolves and Queen Alveena's army against King Segas, the remaining Sumsarian brethren were few. The army had been decimated, its ranks almost destroyed. Belos, Queen Alveena's general--and Domo's ancestor--was the last remaining commander.
King Segas was dead, his army of cutthroats and villains destroyed, the remaining few fleeing into the forests and mountains.
Fagin Greymount is a descendant of those villains.
The Badenwolves, as I said, returned to their hidden dens to lick their wounds, sinking into history, shadows laying in wait.
Those that remained near the battle site were the last of the Sumsarian brethren.
Nearly defeated, and infected with the evilness of King Segas' demented mind, the red mark of evil I now see before me.
Bolos sent all the able-bodied men he could muster after the remnants of Segas' army, wanting to deliver a final justice to them all in the name of his dead queen.
As we now know some did indeed escape.
They lived to fight another day.
That day may soon approach.
The remaining Sumsarians buried the dead, the once kingdom of King Dragos the Just now laying in ruins.
But throughout those first days of returning life their hearts burned with a passion.
A passion to see justice done, to see the fight ended completely.
Belos' soldiers returned, a few of Segas' men slaughtered in the name of justice.
But they knew deep within their hearts that perhaps that name would live forever, that justice would never completely be vindicated.
There on the shadowy ruins of a once great nation of people, that small group of Sumsarian survivors created the first Brotherhood of Vindica.
Named Vindica after the word vindication.
A brotherhood bent on achieving justice, in the name of truth and honor.
It was a noble idea.
Unfortunately, that first brotherhood sought out the wrong people to unleash that vindication on.
Many discussions were made, many heated discussions.
They sought to lay blame upon those they felt wronged them.
King Segas was now dead, his men scattered to the winds.
The discussions then turned to the Badenwolves.
And to the Pact of Archania.
And from there to the nation of Archania itself, and its giving, loving people.
Through misconceptions, clouded logic, and falsified reasoning, those remaining souls blamed the Archanians for all their misfortunes.
Their clouded reasoning was that the Archanians created the pact between man and beast to hurt the Sumsarian people.
That their beloved queen died because of a pact of savagery.
They lost the true reasoning that their beloved queen died defending the right to freedom and truth.
Belos tried in vain to stop the grumbling discord among the people, other men of dubious worth gaining strength within the ranks.
In the end Belos walked away from the chaos surrounding him.
On a cold winter's night he appeared to vanish.
We now know the truth of where he went, or where he was sent:
To the One Council."
Domo's eyes met Jolan's, his grandson smiling at him.
"Our beloved ancestor stepped away from the madness,
Grandfather. He believed in the cause of Queen Alveena, and what she sacrificed
her life for. He was rewarded in the end for that belief."
Domo smiled, Jolan looking at his uncles.
"Your father was of the same belief, Uncles. My grandfather's heart was entrenched in the words of Alveena's truth and giving love. And in the friendship he gained from her."
Both men nodded, Calen's three sons looking at Jolan.
"And what of our people?"
Jolan's eyes stared at all three.
"Your people--as well as mine--were entrenched in words of truth, love, and justice, my cousins."
Everyone stared at Jolan in surprise, his grey eyes meeting Justin's blue when Justin spoke.
"Your people, Jo? You are not Archanian."
Jolan stared at him for a moment, his eyes then going to his three cousins.
He stood again, looking at his grandfather's picture, then at Lenora's.
"Winged truths lay hidden from man's eyes." he said, more to himself than to everyone.
He smiled, his eyes returning to everyone.
"I am in truth an Archanian, their truth and love flows in my
blood. As does it in yours Uncles, and in yours Grandfather."
Everyone looked confused, Jolan smiling.
"By her own words I mark her as one." he said, walking over to the fireplace, his hand picking up a book that lay on the mantle, Justin seeing that it was the Tome.
It had materialized moments before, no one seeing it appear.
"This book holds many secrets, Uncles. It was the queen's book of history, and I now see it was also--at one time--something more."
"It was her own book, Jo. Perhaps her diary?" Josh said, Jolan smiling at him.
"Very good, Joshua. I love your intellect."
Josh smiled, Jolan's loving eyes gazing at him.
Jolan's eyes lowered, his hand rubbing the book's cover.
His head raised, two grey orbs of tearful love staring at everyone.
"As I stated earlier, King Athos was himself saved as a youth by the giving hand of the Archanian people. From that day until the day of his death he held a deep love for those winged warriors. And for one other singular reason."
Jolan stared down at the book laying in his hands.
"Words of an archangel, words of truth. Hidden from
life, but deeply entrenched in her soul."
Jolan's eyes raised, everyone seeing a deep truth in those eyes.
"King Athos, I said, was saved from death upon the
snowy lands of Archania. He was saved by Queen Ravenia's own sister. A vision of
beauty, a heart of giving love. From that moment until his death he loved that
Calen and Simus stood up, Calen's sons rising as well.
"No, Jolan. It cannot. . .that is not so?" Domo said, trembling as he stood.
"It is so, and it is the truth, Grandfather. Queen Alveena Sumsare, mother of the Sumsarian nation, was herself an Archanian."
Everyone stood in shocked silence, Domo walking up to his grandson.
"Yes, Grandfather. I read here in the book of her
soul, her own truth in that regard. Alveena was the younger sister of Ravenia. Queen
Alveena was a princess of angelic worth. Alveena and Athos had fallen in love on their first
day of meeting, on the day she saved his life in that cold wilderness. They fell in love, Alveena
leaving her own people to be with him. And that bond, the love he had for her
and she for her people, one day was broken. Broken by Athos' greed."
Domo's hand went to Jolan's shoulder.
"Our great queen stayed with him in the end?"
Jolan nodded, kissing his grandfather's cheek.
"Yes, Grandfather. In the end Athos realized his
mistake, that greed had taken over his heart. And in the end he paid a high
price for that. The eventuality of his own children's sacrifice. His wife, his
loving wife, found it in her heart to forgive him. She remained with him until
his dying day. And you all know the truth of the rest of her story."
Calen shook his head, looking at Jolan.
"It can't be, Jolan. Father never spoke of Alveena's having wings or being of Archanian heritage."
"As I already said, the Archanians were adept at walking among man in deception. It is the truth, Uncles. She wrote it here for me to read." Jolan said, raising the book.
"I am a child of Sumsarian descent. I am a Badenwolf. And I am a descendant of the Archanian royalty. I am a triad of destiny."
Athos walked up to Jolan, Jolan staring into his violet eyes.
"Yes, Athos. I know you sensed the nearness of my Archanian blood before my coming here. As you and your brothers have always sensed that blood. You feel the others out there in the darkness, don't you? You sense their existence."
Athos nodded, Jolan's hand going to his shoulder.
"Yes, cousin of blood. We three have sensed them off in the distance, like a lost feeling of love."
Jolan nodded, looking around at everyone.
"Therein lays the proof of their continued existence. Archanians feel their own kin, whether close or far. It is the depth of their bond of birthright."
Everyone sat in silence digesting Jolan's truths.
"What happened to my people, Jolan? Why do they remain hidden?" Mathias said, his arm around Isaiah, the two now standing behind their brother Athos.
"Sit down and I shall tell you their fate."
Everyone sat down, Jolan again in the armchair, his voice filling the quietness.
"The Sumsarian brotherhood of justice, led by a man named Archand Sumsare, sought out the hidden brethren of Archania. They combed every inch of the surrounding lands and then the depths of the Carpathian mountains.
On a cold dark night of snowy fate they found, and then surrounded, the encampment of the Archanian people.
Being creatures of the air, they could not fly in snowy blizzard conditions.
The brotherhood found them at a moment of great weakness.
And with no regard for truth, life, love or giving kindness, they slaughtered them en mass.
Every man, woman and child living in that sheltered valley of silent tranquility died that night. All, save two."
Jolan stood up, looking up at the portrait of Lenora Dragos.
"Your wife bears a striking resemblance to Queen Ravenia, Uncle Calen. For she was of the twenty-third generation of Ravenia's own daughter Selaria. Selaria Archania was the last living Archanian to survive the destruction brought upon the archangels that dark night. Her own mother, Ravenia, gave her life to see her safely spirited away on the southern slopes of the Carpathian mountains. Ravenia and her daughter were the only two to escape the slaughter. An injured Ravenia risked death by flying out in the snowy night, her young daughter in her arms. Archand send his men after them, having known they'd not be able to get far, seeing as she was wounded. One hour after the mother and daughter had parted from each other--Ravenia sending her daughter to safety--Ravenia was surrounded by her sister's husband's clan. She died that night in a way unfitting such a woman of love and kindness, that truth I shall never speak of."
Jolan stared at the book in his hand, tears falling down his cheeks.
Justin stood up, walking up to his lover, his arm going around his shoulder, Jolan feeling his love.
"A tragic end for a woman of deep love and beauty,
Jo. She never deserved that."
Jolan nodded, turning and looking at the three young men seated together, Calen seated with them.
"Ravenia's daughter went into hiding, her true self
never revealed. For the young woman knew that she alone was the last of the
Archanians. But she was her mother's daughter. A child of strength, courage,
love and kindness. Through her the Archanians would live again. And she had two
stalwart allies to aid her in that realization."
"Vilos, he was one of them?" Josh said, Jolan smiling at Josh.
"Right again, Joshua. He was the second to aid her. The first was Dahlia Lantos."
Everyone looked surprised, Jolan's eyes going to Calen.
"Your grandmother was a woman of great kindness, strength and courage as well, Uncle Calen. She had remained Ravenia's loyal friend, the only one Ravenia in the end believed could keep her daughter alive. It was to the Badenwolves that Ravenia flew her child to on that snowy slope before her tragic death. And Dahlia Lantos--through her own daughter Lava Mora--in turn guided that young woman to Vilos."
Calen nodded, Simus lowering his head.
"My grandfather had no part in the bloodlust of the Sumsarian survivors. He was unaware of their murderous plot. My grandmother Lava Mora learned the truth when she visited her brethren on the wolf's moon for their annual Rite of Life. She brought the child, and the news to Vilos. To say it shattered his heart would be to speak truth. He himself had ventured into the Archanians midst with Queen Alveena that past summer, meeting that sacred woman of worth and judgment, her sister Ravenia. That meeting held some importance for later truths, I shall not go into it now. All I will say is that Grandfather took things into his own hands. He sent Ravenia's young daughter, a young woman of seventeen, into seclusion, trusted into the hands of a man named Isaiah Thericas. The young man had been one of Vilos' aides throughout the Sumsarian campaigns. The young man worshipped Vilos as a father, his own murdered by King Segas years earlier, a defender of Queen Alveena."
Isaiah's head rose, his own name catching his gaze.
"Yes, Isaiah, you come by your namesake through the lineage of your family. As does your brother Athos, King Athos' name forever connected to it."
Mathias looked at Jolan, Jolan smiling at him.
"And Mathias was the name given to Selaria's first child. That first child, and many others she created with her loving guard turned husband, Isaiah Thericas. All noble names of Archanian descent."
The three young men smiled, Jolan looking around the room, a look of clouded judgment on his face.
"Is everything okay, Jo?" Justin said, his blue eyes meeting his grey.
The young man stood up, walking over to his grandfather's portrait, picking it up in his hands, staring at the young man standing in the middle of imminent destruction.
"My grandfather was a just, giving, strong,
courageous man. But even the greatest of us are faced with times of heart aching
Everyone stared at Jolan, the man setting the painting on the mantle beside Lenora's.
He stared at it for a moment, then sighed.
"Vilos had a task of finality ahead of him. A task he knew had to be done."
Josh stood up, walking up to Jolan, his hand going to his shoulder.
"He had to reign in the brotherhood's bloodshed before it
Jolan's eyes met Josh's, his head nodding.
"To seek flawed justice and revenge is to seek
destruction. My grandfather joined all the forces loyal to Queen Alveena's truth, and he sought out, found and arrested everyone associated with the massacre of the Archanians.
He himself stood as judge over their judgment. He spoke for hours on the depth
of their sin, on the depth of what they'd done in the name of justice. A false
justice taken up with lies and falsehoods against a peace-loving clan. In
the end he marked them as no better than King Segas in their lust for power and
revenge. The final judgment was his own. He himself ordered the death of every
last one of them. In four days a quarter of the Sumsarian survivors were
Jolan sat down in his armchair, Josh's hand going again to his shoulder.
Calen and Simus' heads were lowered, the two raising their eyes and meeting Jolan's.
Jolan saw the depth of emotion in both sets of grey eyes.
"It was a pain he carried deep within his heart,
Uncles. His own private pain. But it was a pain of necessity. To save most of them he had to
sacrifice some of them. We cannot fault him for wanting to see justice done. And
we can only abide by what was done. In the end the Sumsarian race went on. The
falsehoods of implied justice were washed from their souls. From then on they
focused only on the future. Alveena's Tome and the prophecies guiding them
Jolan sighed, Justin sensing his tiredness.
"The Archanian race mothered by Selaria went into hiding, the lessons learned by hatred and justice making that their only recourse. It was the same recourse the Badenwolf took as well. As also the offspring of the Oracle, our Shelly's ancestors. Creatures of magic falling back into the shadows. But they still remain there, awaiting the coming moment."
Jolan stood up, looking at his three cousins and his uncles.
The three young men stood up, Jolan walking up to them.
"You are children of Ravenia's love. Descendants of
her love, strength and courage. As I am a descendant of her sister
Alveena. We are joined through your mother's and your father's lineages. We
share a destiny of friendship, love, happiness and life. I welcome you greatly
into my arms of happiness."
The three young men smiled, tears in all their eyes, Isaiah almost crying.
The four embraced again; Calen, Justin, Josh and Simus standing beside them.
Everyone surrounded Jolan and the three men, their eyes taking in all four.
"Are you winged, Athos?" Chris said, Jolan quietly looking at his friend.
Athos stared around at everyone, his brothers looking at him.
"My cousins are Archanian warriors, Chris. They are
as they are."
The three looked at Jolan, seeing only his friendship and love.
"They do not need to display themselves as winged wonders. We only need to bask in their loving friendship. There will be other times for displayed courage and magic."
The three smiled, seeing Jolan's protective love surrounding them.
Calen put his hand on Jolan's shoulder.
"Thank you for illuminating our minds, Nephew.
You've shown us the hidden truth of our own heritage. You light our eyes with
truth and worth."
Jolan smiled at the older man, leaning forward and kissing his cheek.
"We shall talk of all this in the coming week,
Uncle. Right now I'm very tired. I think I'll retire early."
"Please, everyone. Stay and enjoy each other's company. And the company of our wonderful hosts."
Isaiah smiled, as did Mathias.
Athos' hand went to Jolan's shoulder.
"Jolan. . .I. . .we. . .we need to. . .?"
Jolan smiled, patting the other man's shoulder.
"We shall talk of life, friendship and love, cousin.
This shall be a week of awakening friendship."
Everyone smiled, the three Archanian sons smiling the most.
Hayden ran up to his father, Jolan picking him up into his arms.
"Me's tired, Daddy. Me sweeps now?"
Jolan smiled, Justin taking his hand in his, the small boy snuggling against his chest.
"Yes, Hay. It's beddy bye time."
Jolan and Justin both said goodnight to everyone, the boy's eyes closed against his father's chest.
The three walked out of the room, everyone looking at each other.
"A night of surprising truth, brother." Simus said, Calen looking into his grey eyes.
"Our nephew guides all truth into the open, Simus. I think this is just the beginning."
Simus nodded, he and Cory sitting down again, Athos staring towards the double doors.
Jolan felt a movement against his face, a smallness of warmth.
He opened his grey eyes slowly, seeing small fingers laying across his nose.
He smiled, turning his head towards his right.
Hayden lay beside him, the boy nestled between his fathers.
The boy had moved in his sleep, his hand laying on Jolan's face.
Jolan smiled, turning his head in the semi darkness, lifting his arm and looking at his watch.
It read four forty-three.
Jolan slowly moved, moving Hay's hand back from his face, the boy turning in his sleep, snuggling into Justin's chest beside him.
Jolan smiled, sitting up, taking in the vision of his two sleeping men.
Justin lay sound asleep on his back, their little Hay snuggled against him, Justin's arm having moved around him, his protective love surrounding him.
Jolan silently got out of bed, pulling on a robe that lay across a chair by the bed, its velour thickness warming him immediately.
He felt an urgency within him, the young man quietly exiting the bedroom, walking towards the bathroom at the end of the hall.
Jolan went into it, closing the door.
A few minutes later he walked out again, stopping and listening to the silence surrounding him.
All the room doors were shut, his family and friends sleeping in happiness.
He smiled, a sense of adventure settling into his soul.
No time like the present to walk the past, he
thought, a smile going to his face.
He quietly walked to the end of the hallway, the grand staircase before him.
He smiled, descending into the semi-lit darkness, a full moon shining through the windowed hall.
For over an hour he walked in silence down long hallways, up other staircases, walking the path of his family's house, investigating his grandfather's home.
He looked at all the paintings, taking in all their revealed history.
At the end of one hallway on the bottom floor he stopped, hearing a rushing sound ahead of him, as well as muted laughter.
He listened in silence, hearing water splashing.
He smiled, walking towards the end of the hall, two double doors before him.
He smiled, quietly opening one of the doors, slipping silently into the room.
The room was softly lit, Jolan staring towards a large pool, its contents bringing a smile to his face.
Three young men were laughing, one diving off a diving board, the other two swimming the lengths of the pool.
Jolan stood in shadowed silence watching his three cousins.
Athos reached the end of the pool, two strokes ahead of Mathias.
"You gain each day on me, Matty! Soon you'll best me." Athos said, his brother smiling at him.
"To best perfection is to show its weakness."
Athos laughed, dunking his brother's head under the water.
Isaiah came out of the water, climbing up the steel steps at the left side, having just been the one who'd dove off the diving board.
"And our little brother can't stop diving. One day you'll dive into someone's arms and sink in love forever."
Isaiah's laughter filled the room, Jolan smiling in the shadowy darkness by the doors.
He stared at Isaiah, the man's stunning beauty breathtaking.
He wore a small black bikini Speedo suit, his only attire.
His body was completely smooth, toned and muscular, its beauty would put any model to shame.
Jolan knew the other two were identical, a threesome of visionary beauty.
The young man walked around the side of the pool, climbing the diving board's steps again, walking towards its edge.
"If I sink into love it shall indeed be forever, my brothers." the young man said, raising his hands.
Immediately two membranes extended out of his back, his wings opening to their majestic width.
The young man ran off the board's edge, taking flight, his sleek form swooping over his brothers' heads.
His form circled the pool, gracefully landing on the pool's edge, just above his two brothers.
"There! I did not sink into anyone's arms. My love
still remains mine."
The two in the pool laughed, pulling themselves out of the water, their sleek forms now standing beside their brother.
The two only wore small bikini suits as well; Mathias' red in color, Athos' white.
"That person's arms somewhere must feel a great loss. Soon enough they shall take comfort in your beauty, Isaiah." Mathias said, Isaiah smiling with love at his brother.
"Indeed, brother." Athos said, Isaiah hearing his love as well.
"Do you think that will be so, Athy?" Isaiah said, his brother wrapping his arm around his winged torso, Athos standing between his brothers.
"Your love guarantees it, Isaiah."
The three men turned, Jolan walking out of the shadows, standing before the three.
Isaiah's wings immediately folded away, the three quietly staring at Jolan.
"You do not need to hide your beauty from me, Isaiah.
In all three of you I find love."
The three softly smiled, Athos looking at Jolan.
"How do they work, cousins? I mean, I'd really like to see."
The three looked at each other, seeing nothing but love in Jolan's eyes.
Athos smiled, his body turning around in front of Jolan.
Jolan looked at his cousin's back, seeing a darker shade of skin covering the upper half of it.
It looked almost like a soft shell.
Jolan watched in fascination as it began to move.
Before his eyes the shell separated in two then moved outward, Jolan now seeing that it was two layered membranes, folded into each other.
The membranes expanded, two large wings moving outward.
The transformation was in moments, Jolan smiling when Athos turned around to face him.
"Marvelous, simply unbelievable. So efficient and magnificent." he said, the three men smiling at him.
"You make our souls lighten with your sincerity and your love, cousin." Mathias said, his brothers smiling their agreement.
Isaiah looked at his cousin, Jolan seeing the look of need in his blue eyes.
"Ask what you need of me, Isaiah. I am your family."
Isaiah's eyes met his brothers', the young man smiling softly.
"And what of you? We were wondering of the beast within you. We have never seen our father's Badenwolf soul, for the obvious reasoning." he said, Jolan smiling at the three.
Jolan's hands went to his robe, the clothing leaving his body.
He stood before them, all three taking in the beautiful man standing before them, clothed in only black boxer briefs.
"There are no secrets between brothers of friendship, between sons of family." he said, his body beginning to change.
The three young men stood in awed silence, watching the young man change into his muscular beastly self.
Jolan's Badenwolf self stood before them, the three young men taking in his animalistic beauty.
"I read of your strength, your beastly greatness. But I never read of your muscular beauty." Athos said, his violet eyes staring into Jolan's yellow.
Jolan's eyes took in all three before him, seeing their admiring gazes.
"We are creatures of magic, my brothers. Let us find in each
other a normalcy of friendship and happiness."
The other three smiled, Jolan walking up to all three, the three surrounding him.
The beast smiled, taking in their beauty and love.
Hands went forward, touching the hairiness before them.
Jolan felt their love and need, their deep need for his friendship.
The beast smiled through his teeth-filled mouth, Athos smiling at him.
"Let the games begin." Jolan softly growled, his muscular arms going forward, his arms pulling in the three young men surrounding him.
They screamed with laughter, Jolan diving forward into the pool, all four sinking into the warm water.
End of Chapter 101
And so Jolan's past has been revealed.
Our young hero a descendant of three clans of might and worth: human, wolfen and angelic origins.
And Jolan has now been accepted with love by three young archangels, their winged beauty open before him.
In those three he may find a family of brothers.
How will Justin react to their new closeness?
Will the wetness of their laughter and love wash away his fears?
The fears for his Jolan's happiness.
A Christmas celebration, complete with love, happiness and mirthful surprises.